Over 1000 people have already signed up to participate in Africa’s largest startup event, and many more join every day to connect at networking meetups organized by the venture capital community VC4Africa in over 40 cities across the world. The events take place on Global Business Angels Day, as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, next Thursday.
On the evening of Thursday November the 20th, venture capital community VC4Africa initiates a global conversation on investments in African innovation as a part of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2014. In over 40 cities in Africa, Europe, the US and Asia, members of the global VC4Africa (Venture Capital for Africa) community are taking the initiative to host informal networking drinks, bringing together local networks of entrepreneurs, angels and VC investors eager to be part of Africa’s next great success story. Also individuals who have yet to get involved in the African entrepreneurship ecosystem are welcome to join one of the many events. The full list of meetups is accessible on the VC4Africa website.
The informal networking “meetups” are held in cities on four continents on Thursday November 20, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm (in the local time zones of the meetups locations). All meetups in Africa will be held from 6:00pm to 9:00pm Central African Time, creating an immense Pan-African event on entrepreneurship and investment!
Meetups have been confirmed in over 40 cities around the world, including Abidjan, Abuja, Accra, Addis Ababa, Amsterdam, Antananarivo, Bamako, Benoni, Berlin, Birmingham, Blantyre, Brussels, Buea, Bujumbura, Bukavu, Cairo, Calabar, Cotonou, Dar es Salaam, Douala, Frankfurt, Giza, Harare, Ilorin, Johannesburg, Kampala, Kigali, Lagos, London, Los Angeles, Lusaka, Maputo, Nairobi, New York, Nuremberg, Pretoria, Port Harcourt, San Francisco, Seattle, Singapore, Windhoek, Yaoundé.
Over 1000 people have signed up so far for all meetups combined, and VC4Africa is receiving many new signups every day. See the full list of confirmed meetups and sign up today on the VC4Africa Global Entrepreneurship Week meetups overview page.
One question will be emphasized at all the local VC4Africa meetups on November 20th: “How can we multiply investments in African startups over the next year?”. VC4Africa encourages attendees around the world to use social media to answer this question using the hashtags #VC4Africa #GEW2014.
Asked for initial input, meetup hosts around the world already put forward some interesting hints. “We need to start by thinking more global and less local, so we can involve more investors” says Prudence Ogatcha, hosting the meetup in Cotonou, Benin. Lillian Madeje, hosting in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania reacts “We have influential and successful people within our communities who can invest in African startups. We need to make a call for angel investors.” And Oluseye Soyode-Johnson, host of the meetup in Lagos, Nigeria adds: “We need to be more inclusive in attracting and mentoring local angel investors from even more varied backgrounds”.
Input from hosts across Africa shows the variety of entrepreneurs and investment contexts on the continent. Joel Bayubasire, meetup host in Bukavu, DRC suggests to create “seed investment funds” for DRC’s young entrepreneurs. Nairobi host Jasper Grosskurth says “In Kenya, a lot of investment capital is patiently waiting for opportunities. We need to develop the quality of start-ups.”
Also outside of Africa there is enough to talk about. “Interest in Africa from Singapore is growing quickly as investors recognise the similarities between South East Asia and Africa and the potential rewards from getting into the African market early” says Singapore host Barry Levett. “Germany has a big African Diaspora Community” adds Harnet Bokrezion from Frankfurt, Germany, “Africans in the Diaspora are keen to be part of Africa’s economic growth, but many do not know where to start”.
In the US, New York host Anie Akpe adds “as a Nigerian-American, assisting in hosting this event, I feel that I am helping to build a bridge between the diaspora and Africa”, and San Francisco host Marissa Drouillard concludes “I’d like to see the Silicon Valley investor community more engaged with the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Africa.”
During and after November 20th VC4Africa will present output from discussions across the world. Last year VC4Africa was able to attract 2000 people at meetups in 26 cities in 20 countries. Thursday November 20th is this year’s Global Business Angels Day (GBAD), part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) is the world’s largest celebration of entrepreneurship. During one week each November, GEW inspires people around the world to explore their potential as self-starters and innovators.
See the full list of confirmed meetups and sign up on the VC4Africa Global Entrepreneurship Week meetups overview page.